NOTE: This post usually updates on Tuesdays.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has updated its weekly list of high-risk countries. Two popular countries have moved up to the very high-risk, level 4 countries. The list of country designations continues to be a moving target with some countries moving up the list and some moving down to lower categories.
New Restrictions In Europe
In various parts of Europe, Covid has been on the increase. Europe may be on the way to a fourth surge in Covid cases. These countries have instituted new restrictions:
- Austria – This country began a nationwide lockdown yesterday shutting down non-essential shops and restaurants.
- Norway – Norway is to lift Covid-19 travel rules on November 26 which restrict entry depending on country of origin. Other Covid-19 travel rules including testing and quarantine will still apply.
- The Netherlands – The country has imposed a new Covid lockdown. Massive protests are happening in The Netherlands with isolated acts of violence.
- Denmark – Denmark also reintroduced its Covid-19 health pass. This program was originally discontinued in early September and it will be needed to enter certain venues or events and shows proof of vaccination, recovery from coronavirus or a recent negative test.
- Ireland – I was there four weeks ago and the government lifted restrictions on restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. Even though Ireland has a vaccination rate of over 89%, the midnight curfew is coming back.
- Germany – The Munich Christmas Market is a big winter draw in Southern Germany. For the second year, this event is again cancelled due to Covid. This event typically sees three million people attend. Germany will also need tighter restrictions to control a record-setting wave of infections, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying.
Unvaccinated Americans Returning To the United States
If you are an American who is not vaccinated, returning to the United States will get more complicated. The new travel rules will make two significant changes:
- The testing window for return Covid testing will be reduced from three days down to one day. This means a Covid test was conducted 24 hours prior to departure.
- Unvaccinated travelers will be required to test again after they return to the United States. Where and when this test is to be performed has yet to be decided.
The new testing window for unvaccinated Americans can be problematic because you will need an approved test with a fast turnaround time for the results. You will have to show proof of a negative Covid test prior to boarding your flight.
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States can be found here.
Countries Moving Up To Level 4
Destinations that fall into the “Covid-19 very high” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, according to CDC parameters. The Level 3 category applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. This week, there are currently 101 destinations that remain at Level 4.
These countries have moved up the list to level 4 from previously lower levels. The main reason this has happened is that the CDC has received more complete data on the actual conditions in those countries.
Here are popular countries remaining at level 4. Many of the latest countries that remain at level 4 are the most popular vacation destinations in Europe due to a surge in the Delta variant.
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
These Countries Have Moved To Level 3
Five countries on the list this week have either improved or were downgraded. They are:
- Aruba – previously level 4
- Curacao – previously level 4
- Guadeloupe – previously level 4
- Israel – previously level 4
- U. S. Virgin Islands – previously level 4
Countries That Have Changed To Level 2
- Benin – previously level 3
- Equatorial Guinea – previously level 3
- Ethiopia – previously level 3
- New Zealand – previously level 1
Countries Now Reported At Level 1
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
Popular Countries With Unknown Risks
The following countries have insufficient data for the CDC to assign a risk level:
CDC guidance for Level 3 and Level 4 destinations urges unvaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel to those locations. The CDC also recommends avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
The Full List And Travel Advisories
The full list along with travel advisories from the CDC can be found here. This list changes weekly so it might be a site to add to your travel bookmarks.
All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
The list of countries that the CDC maintains continues to change every week as more data is known. Some countries have improved and some have declined. Some countries including the United States improve and then fall into a state of decline. This CDC list and advisories are posted to help you make an educated decision on whether to travel or not.
The next update is scheduled for November 30, 2021.